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Middle school library collections are curated for students in grades 6-8, which includes students younger than the intended YA audience. The inclusion of YA literature in middle school library collections ensures that the needs of all learners are met.  

In the event your child brings home a book that is not a good fit at this time, please return the book to the library in exchange for a new title.  

Families have the option to decide whether or not their student has access to YA materials in the middle school library.

Characteristics of Young Adult Literature  

  • Library professionals define YA as a book written for an audience of 12-18 years old/grade 7+.

  • Young adult literature is written with more mature subject matter and includes complex sentence structure and language/vocabulary that reflects an audience in transition from childhood to adulthood.  As interests and relevance change with each child’s development, so do their reading choices. 

Questions a Middle School Reader might consider before checking out a YA Book 

  • What do I want to read and why? 

  • Who can I ask when I have questions about what I am reading? 

Identifying Young Adult Literature in ASD20 Middle Schools 

Communicating about young adult literature is intended to help each student find great books regardless of where they are in the developmental range of middle school students. Students and families will know that a particular book has a YA designation when they observe the items below.

In the Library:  

  • A YA sticker on the spine of the physical book. “YA” labels on the spines of young adult books help students make informed selections.

  • Reminders about the YA designation are posted on circulation desks and throughout middle school libraries. The reminder states, “(A Young Adult) book may contain language, violence, or content best suited for a mature reading audience. Before you check these out, please make sure that it is okay with your family.”


  • In the Destiny Discover library catalog, patrons can search for YA titles using the advanced search tool and filtering by interest level (starting level: Young Adult to ending level: Young Adult). Using the same search terms but adjusting the interest level range to grades 6-8 will produce different search results.

Limit Access to Reading Materials in Destiny Discover

In D20, we acknowledge that parents make the best decisions for their children. To support your reader with increased family support in selecting great books, see the strategies below for searching, advanced searching, and creating Destiny Collections as a family. Parents and guardians may also grant/limit their child’s access to reading materials as they see fit.

Limit Access to Young Adult Titles

Contact your school librarian and request a note in your student's patron file to block access to YA titles. The note will be visible to anyone helping at the circulation desk. The student will be allowed zero checkouts listed as young adult titles. If your student wants to check out a YA book, contact the librarian to give permission for your child to check out that specific YA book. This allows checkout of YA titles with guardian approval only.

Block Access to All Titles

Contact your school librarian and request a note in your student's file to block all titles. The note will be visible to anyone helping at the circulation desk. Students can still check out textbooks and devices, but all library materials will be blocked in Destiny's Library account. A note will be placed in your child's patron account stating this limit is at family request and the date you requested this.

Additional Information About the Value of YA Literature

Books for young adults are crucial in our libraries because they help teens navigate their emotions and the challenges of growing up. According to the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), these books are valuable because they show readers characters they can relate to, making them feel less alone in their struggles. Adolescence is a time when teens are torn between fitting in and being unique, and these books can provide a sense of reassurance and community. They also teach empathy by sharing stories of diverse lives, encouraging readers to connect with others.

Additionally, Young Adult literature prepares readers for adulthood and instills values for responsible citizenship. By providing real-life examples, these books help teens form their own beliefs, make sense of the world, and become thoughtful individuals. These books are essential tools for teens to understand themselves, connect with others, and prepare for the challenges of adulthood.